I was all amped up last night. I couldn’t go to sleep because I was thinking about ALL THE THINGS. And somehow at the late hour of 11pm, I felt like it was really time to solve it all.
Public school, private school, home school? What to get my Secret Santa? What to tell my husband’s secret Santa to get him? To throw a New Years party, or not? What I should get my husband for Christmas. When should we make Christmas cookies, watch the Nativity Story and what should be the night of our Life Group Christmas Party? Should we get wood floors? How to say ‘No’ to things I can’t do so that people still like me and think I’m a good person?
I’m not usually the type of person to get obsessed about logistics…but there I was. Obsessing about logistics. At 11 O’Clock at night. And just to make things more crowded, Perfectionism and People Pleasing showed up too, just to throw in their two cents.
Now I hope this all sounds dumb to you. Like, “CHICK! Just go to bed, it’s all fine, you’ll figure it out tomorrow!” But my guess is that for many of you, this all sounds eerily familiar. Or maybe you were awake last night thinking over the EXACT. SAME. THINGS.
In the frenzy I was in last night, I knew I was liable to miss the whole point of Christmas, relationships, everything; and yet it felt like I was on a runaway train, and I just couldn’t figure out how to get off.
Finally, in a brief moment of wisdom, I asked my half-asleep husband to pray for me. And he prayed for the antidote that felt like it fell immediately on my frazzled and frenzied mind like one of those super plush sherpa blankets: he prayed that God would give me peace.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.” (Colossians 3:15 emphasis mine)
LET the peace… like peace is always there just around the corner, no matter what life is throwing at us, or what is currently frustrating us. These words were written by Apostle Paul when he was in prison for his faith…not exactly as super “peaceful” situation.
The word peace surrounds the whole of the Christmas story. Yet, I don’t imagine I would have felt especially peaceful if I was giving birth to my first child in a dirty barn, or if I had nowhere to lay him but a manger. I don’t even imagine that it would have been a very peaceful experience to be God incarnate, laying aside home and glory, to be born in such a way. And yet, Christ’s birth was and is continually heralded as a sign of peace.
He is “the sunrise [that] shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’’ (Luke 1:78-79 emphasis mine).
The Angels heralding His birth sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.’’ (Luke 2:14 emphasis mine).
And Simeon, the old prophet who had served God all His life took one look at the baby boy Jesus and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.’’ (Luke 2:29-32 emphasis mine)
And I keep thinking about when my children were small; the way they would cry out in distress, but immediately be calm as soon as I held them in my arms. Even though the situation hadn’t changed that much, or the pain or discomfort hadn’t been totally removed, they trusted that I was going to take care of them. That I had a plan to make things right in their little world again. That I would give them what they needed. And sometimes, my presence alone was enough.
So maybe my lack of peace just keeps going back to the same old problem; a lack of Trust. When I get frenzied and frazzled and refuse to let God’s with-ness be enough to carry me through my days. When I forget that He promises good for me and glory for Himself in all circumstances and situations, and that He always, always keeps His promises. When I get sucked into the lie that self-reliance is a viable option; that I can “make” thing happen, when I believe that the weight of the world rests on my shoulders and if I rest for one moment it’ll all crash and burn…You see how the ego inflates itself?
But what would it look like for me to LET His peace rule in my heart? I keep seeing these scriptures that seems to say that doing less is really the way to more. Like God is looking at me saying, “Stop. Just stop. ‘BE STILL…and KNOW that I am God…'” (Psalm 46:10)
It’s hard to hear a whisper when you are running headlong down a crowded street, frantically grabbing for all the things you think you need. But I don’t want to miss Him this Christmas or this New Year…I really, really don’t.
So here’s to turning over a new leaf; because you know it’s never too late to start over and turn that leaf right over. Instead of letting the need to produce, to “make” things happen, to manufacture some image of perfection or success, or “having it all together-ness”…instead of that I’m going to LET the Peace of Christ rule in my heart. I’m going to BE STILL. TO CEASE STRIVING…to spend time in the Knowing and the Trusting of who He is. Because really, that’s all He wants from me anyways. And that’s all He wants from you.
In light of this need to rest and refocus, I’m going to be taking a short break from the blog to spend a little extra time loving on my people and savoring His word. I encourage you all to do the same! And I look forward to re-connecting with you all at the beginning of the New Year.
Blessings on you Dear Reader, and I wish you a VERY MERRY, PEACEFUL, AND JOYFUL CHRISTMAS. And the happiest, most hopeful of New Years.
May we find our Rest in His Sovereignty, as we learn to walk His gentle ways this Christmas.